I Got the No Work Blues – August 19, 2008

I Got the No Work Blues

Yesterday, someone was venting about being involved in a three – four month job search, without any results. So as a public service, I thought that I would talk about this. Perhaps I can share some practical advice, for those in a similar situation. Being out of work may seem frightening, but is not something to engage in “existential despair”. Let’s survey some practical methods.

Academic Sources

Folks need to try their alumni groups, along with the career transition arenas, where they went to school. Even if the school is a distance away, one can work with schools, in crafting a resume, market plan, handbill, etc. When I was laid off at Motorola, I worked with both the Norwich graduate school office in Vermont, as well as the one at Aurora University. Another source is the career transition services office at the local, in-district junior college. One can also get a library card from them, and use it for remote access research. The only qualifying factor is to be a community resident, and both the library card – along with the career transition services (resume writing, handbill preparation, etc.) – are free. At the College of Dupage, they even have something called Dupage Executive Network (http://www.cod-theden.org/) – which for $75 per year – one attends professional network events once a month. For folks starting their own business, the local junior college has a small business development center, offering help and courses.

Religious Sources

Religious sources are too numerous to mention, and are usually open to all folks needing assistance. Among the most active groups are the Latter Day Saints (providentliving.org/lo…) and Jewish Vocational Services (http://www.jvschicago.org/). Here is what I share from the LDS website:

“There are nearly 300 LDS Employment Resource Service Centers worldwide that help members with employment, education, and self-employment. The centers’ staff and missionaries, along with your ward employment specialist, can help you tap into a tremendous network of people and resources. Services include job postings, one-on-one coaching, help with resumes and interviewing, Internet access, and use of copiers, fax machines, and telephones.”

In my personal experience, I like the LDS (I.E. – LDS Employment Services in Naperville, Illinois) more for employment, and the JVS for small business, even though both provide information for both employment and self-employment. For small business development in the US, consult:

  1. The free Internet course at http://www.myownbusiness.org/.

There are two sources of job search help, in the western suburbs of Chicago:

  1. In the western suburbs of Chicago, there are two large Catholic Churches involved in helping others find work. One is St. Thomas in Naperville, and the other is St. Hubert’s in Hoffman Estates.
  2. Our Savior Lutheran Church has an excellent career transition workshop (which some other churches are also hosting). Now there are other Roman Catholic Groups, and Protestant groups, but the ones mentioned are well established.

Community Career Centers

There are centers called “community career centers” or “career transition centers”, sponsored by local charities, like United Way. Some that come to mind in Illinois are :

  1. the Community Career Center in Naperville (http://www.communitycareercenter.org/)
  2. the Barrington Career Center in Barrington (http://www.barringtoncareercenter.com/mc/page.do)
  3. the Career Transition Center in Chicago (http://www.ctcchicago.org/)

All offer access to computers and fax machines, offer networking groups, and work with individuals on resume preparation, etc. If you call your local library – ask for the adult reference section – they might be able to direct you to resources.

Professional Organizations

While they might be expensive, sometimes an employer pays for this, for a period of time. When I was laid off of Motorola, I had access for two months, to the services of Right Management. I chose the remote access capacity, which consisted of Webinars, and time with a personal coach. This allowed me to also use face-to-face resources, sponsored by various religious, and secular organizations. One of my favorite series from Right Management was the one on entrepreneurship. So organizations like Grey Haired Management or Ladders might be groups to explore.

Spiritual Help

This one is usually used as a last resort. I say it should be the first resort. I am “well grounded” in theology and philosophy, but have no problems dialogging with various faith traditions, in three areas:

  1. Prayer
  2. Meditation and contemplation
  3. Social Engagement

In fact – in the use of prayer and/or spiritual gifts – I knew personally a Pentecostal lay-minister from Virginia. When he lost his job, he went to a Pentecostal minister. The minister laid hands on him, and said he would have a new job in three days. And it turned out to be true.

  1. Now when people are experiencing problems with unemployment, I would send them to a local Roman Catholic, or Protestant prayer group.
  2. Other folks, I might say to find a Christian Science practitioner (contact the local Christian Science Reading Room, or do a Google search for Christian Science Practitioner), and have them work pray for them to overcome employment and financial difficulties (www.spirituality.com).
  3. Other folks I might send to the Unity School of Christianity prayer group in Missouri (http://www.unityonline.org/).
  4. Others in the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Churches, I might recommend them to engage their favorite saint for pray assistance.

For some strange reasons, folks seem to have miraculous answers occurring, in many cases. Now this doesn’t mean they don’t do all they can in the secular arena – like networking (which accounts for about 80% of the jobs found). But if you haven’t tried the spiritual angle, then you might want to explore it.

Randy Kemp




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